Update on Reopening Plan 7.13.20
We’re writing to you following the announcement today by San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) that their schools will only offer online classes when the school year begins (for them, August 31). We want to update our own plans and approach to the new school year, which we plan to begin on campus in late August.
1. We are an independent school with a large campus and fewer students per class. In short, the decision by SDUSD has no direct implication on our decisions as a school. We have a much larger campus and much lower teacher-to-student ratio than public schools. Combined with our additional resources we are utilizing to improve airflow, provide more open space and upgrade all of our technology, this means we can create on-campus physical distancing, conduct health screening, hold classes outdoors in our numerous learning environments, and take other measures to increase the safety and health of our students. Of note, we are in consultation with neighboring independent schools that are also preparing for the opening of school on campus as conditions allow.
2. We follow local and state health guidelines. If any government agency mandates that no on-campus learning for any school can occur, we of course will follow that mandate and conduct our full curriculum via our remote platforms, just as we did in the spring. We also can “toggle” back and forth, as needed, between on campus and remote learning.
3. We are in contact with health experts and closely monitoring the situation. Our leadership team is in frequent contact with leading medical experts about the spread of infectious diseases. They are advising every stage of our decision-making process. We are also carefully monitoring the prevalence rate of COVID-19 in our community. Fortunately, infection rates in our community are significantly lower than in the overall SDUSD community.
4. We continue to plan. As we have shared, we continue to plan for a school year with different possible scenarios. As we plan for an on campus start to the school year in late August, we know that can change at any moment. We will keep you informed of any major decisions. We will share our campus reopening plan, with detailed information about our health and safety measures, in early August.
Throughout this period of pandemic, we have been guided by some core values, one of which is that we will prioritize health, safety, and well-being over all other considerations. Pikuach Nefesh implores us to take all prudent measures to protect and uphold the health and safety of all of our students and faculty. This value continues to be a bedrock of our decision-making process.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. We will continue to be in touch with you as further decisions are made about the upcoming school year.
Zvi Weiss, Head of School
Heidi Gantwerk, Board of Trustees President